Lupin III has been a series that has fallen under the radar of anime fans outside Japan.

The show is over a decade old, but it still manages to make you laugh with its outrageous and absurd humor.

The story centers on a group of thieves who inherit a strange business of stealing. 

Although the basic plot revolves around stealing valuable objects, it doesn’t get boring. 

Lupin III is filled with a multitude of villains and strange twists that make each episode memorable.

The anime’s tone changes with each part. It is very entertaining.

Lupin III, unlike most anime, is episodic and each story is resolved in one episode. It’s similar to a sitcom, where the main cast is all that ties together all of the episodes.

The animation is better and more energetic.

Give Lupin III a try, you might fall for this classic series!

Lupin III

Arsene Lupin III, the grandson of Arsene Lupin II, is a thief who was known for calling his owners to announce his plans to steal valuable objects.

Daisuke Jigen is his right-hand man and close ally. He’s an expert marksman who can shoot a target accurately in 0.3 seconds. 

Lupin and Jigen often work together as a team of two. Goemon Ishikawa III, a master swordsman who can cut any material, often joins them.

Fujiko Mine is a femme fatale and Lupin’s love interest. 

Fujiko works well with the other members, but she sometimes exploits Lupin’s desire to steal the treasure from her. 

Inspector Koichi Zenigata from Interpol always pursues Lupin and his gang.

Release Order

TV Series

  • Lupin III: Part I (1971).
  • Lupin III: Part II (1977).
  • Lupin III: Part III (1984).
  • The Woman Called Fujiko Min (2012)
  • Lupin III: Part IV – The Italian Adventure (2015)
  • Lupin III Part V (2018)
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Movies

  • Lupin the Third: Chikemuri no Ishikawa Goemon
  • Lupin III: Pilot Film (1969)
  • Lupin III: The Secret of Mamo (1978).
  • Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979).
  • Lupin III: Babylon no Ougon Densetsu (1985)
  • Lupin III: The Fuma Conspiracy (1987).
  • Lupin III: Dead or Alive (1996)
  • Lupin III: Farewell to Nostradamus (1995).
  • Lupin III vs. Detective Conan – The Movie (2013)
  • Lupin III: Jigen’s Gravestone (2014)
  • Lupin the Third: Chikemuri no Ishikawa (2017
  • Lupin the Third: Mine Fujiko No Uso (2019).
  • Lupin III: The First (2019).

OVAs

  • Lupin III: Ikiteita Majutsushi (2002)
  • Lupin III: Green vs. Red (2008)
  • Lupin the Third: Does Lupin Still Burn? (2018)

Specials

  • Lupin III: Goodbye Lady Liberty (1989)
  • Lupin III: Hemingway Paper no Nazo (1990)
  • Lupin III: Napoleon (1991)
  • Lupin III: Bank of Liberty (1992)
  • Lupin III: Voyage to Danger (1993)
  • Lupin III: Dragon of Doom (1994)
  • Lupin III: Harimao no Zaihou wo Oe!! (1995)
  • Lupin III: Twilight Gemini no Himitsu (1996)
  • Lupin III: Island of Assassins (1997)
  • Lupin III: Crisis in Tokyo (1998)
  • Lupin III: The Columbus Files (1999)
  • Lupin III: Missed By a Dollar (2000)
  • Lupin III: Alcatraz Connection (2001)
  • Lupin III Episode 0, The First Contact (2002)
  • Lupin III: Operation Return the Treasure
  • Lupin III: Nusumareta Lupin (2004)
  • Lupin III: Tenshi no Tactics – Yume no Kakera wa Koroshi no Kaori (2005)
  • Lupin III: Seven Days Rhapsody (2006)
  • Lupin III: The Elusiveness of Fog (2007)
  • Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night – Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan (2008)
  • Lupin III vs. Detective Conan (2009)
  • Lupin III: The Last Job (2010)
  • Lupin III: Chi no Kokuin – Eien no Mermaid (2011)
  • Lupin III: Touhou Kenbunroku — Another Page (2012)
  • Lupin VIII (2012)
  • Lupin III: Lupin Ikka Seizoroi (2012)
  • Lupin III 3DCG (2012)
  • Lupin III: Princess Of The Breeze – Kakusareta Kuuchuu Toshi (2013)
  • Lupin III: Italian Game (2015)
  • Lupin III: Goodbye Partner (2019)
  • Lupin III: Prison of the Past (2019)
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How do I start?

Lupin does not follow any specific order. Each episode is a standalone, self-contained piece. This flexible narrative allows you to access Lupin from multiple perspectives.

  1. Lupin III: Part I (1971), is the chronological approach to the start, though the animation might seem a bit outdated. It is the series that makes the franchise unique.
  2. You can decide if Lupin is right for you by watching the 1979 movie Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro. This film marks Hayao Miyazaki’s directorial debut. He is also the director of Studio Ghibli. It’s a wonderful place to start.
  3. Lupin Part V (2018) is a modernised version of Lupin. This animation is amazing, and the storyline is more current for modern viewers while still staying true to its older roots.

One of the most exciting aspects of Lupin is the ability to see the tone of an episode by simply looking at Lupin’s jacket.

Part I’s green jacket represents a more relaxed and simple Lupin. 

Part II’s red jacket reflects the absurdity and humor of the part. 

Part III’s pink jacket shows the cartoonish and goofier side of the show.

Its blue jacket, made of modern Lupin, is a sign that this show is more serious.

Final Words

No matter where you start, there are tonnes of content that you can explore.

The show has no set chronology, so you don’t have to start from the beginning. 

You will not be able to see the call-backs from the older series if you start at Part V.

However, they aren’t related to the plot, so you won’t notice.

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OVAs, movies, and specials can be viewed standalone.